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Softube Harmonics review by MusicRadar

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A new spin on analogue saturation modelling

The latest release from analogue modelling wizard Softube presents five distinct styles of harmonic saturation in a single plugin.
Having spent the last ten years poring over a ‘what’s what’ of vintage hardware processors, the Swedish developer has “hand-picked the best-sounding components from legendary units and placed them in one box to deliver a musical and versatile palette of analogue flavours”. 

Harmonics’ (VST/AU/AAX) GUI is styled after a classic hardware box, and includes Softube’s monolithic and impractical preset browser, which we’ve reported on before and still really aren’t feeling.
On the right, input and output levels are balanced using the so-named faders, each with its own peak level meter. RMS metering is provided by a responsive pair of VUs, which, rather cleverly, can also be switched to monitor THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) - handy indeed when using Harmonics on the mix bus.
The five red buttons select the saturation type, between them dishing up a broad range of colouration. Solid emulates the solid state studio hardware of the 70s, and comes across as the most ‘general purpose’ of the set. It’s ideal for adding definition and presence to pretty much any source signal, but seems particularly at home on vocals. Transformer mimics an American console transformer, and is especially adept at solidifying the low end.

Pros:

  • Supremely ‘analogue’ sound.
  • Five varied distortion styles.
  • Dynamic Transient Control Filters and THD metering.

Cons:

  • Needs an automatic gain compensation option.
  • That lousy preset manager...

Verdict:

Easy to use, versatile and uniquely equipped to handle transients, Harmonics is a distortion nut’s dream plugin.

Read the full review at MusicRadar

 

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